What’s Cinque Terre?

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Cinque Terre is a group of five unique coastal towns in Italy’s Liguria region, within a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The towns are connected by rail and offer hiking, swimming, and scuba diving. Each town has its own attractions, and the best time to visit is from early April to late October.

Cinque Terre are five towns in Italy along the coast. In recent years they have become very popular with tourists for a variety of reasons. The cities are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

The Cinque Terre are located in Italy, in the Liguria region, in the province of La Spezia. They are all within the confines of a national park, which is simply called Cinque Terre. They’ve also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. The Cinque Terre coastline stretches about 11 miles (18km), with each of the villages built right into the rocky escarpments overlooking the sea.

Each of the Cinque Terre villages is one of a kind and each one creates a new experience. They are connected to each other by rail and to the outside world via Rome and Paris. Due to their relative inaccessibility, there are virtually no cars in any of Cinque Terre, making them the ideal destination for people looking to explore on foot. Miles of trails branch off from the towns themselves, winding up the high sea cliffs and through olive groves, chestnut woods, orchards and lush vineyards.

Hiking between the villages is a popular attraction, with trails linking the entirety of Cinque Terre. Bathing in the Mediterranean is also a popular attraction, with small coves and secluded beaches all along the area. Scuba diving can also be found in Riomaggiore, for those who wish to dive a little deeper. Due to the protected nature of the region, doing anything, including hiking, requires a permit. These are still affordable, and for those who know they’ll want to do a lot, the Cinque Terre Card is available. The card allows the bearer to use the train, bus, and walk as much as they like for three days, and costs little more than 12 euros.

Each of the Cinque Terre villages has its own attractions to offer. Keep in mind, however, that most of what Cinque Terre offers is an untouched experience along the Italian coast, not tourist infrastructure. Monterosso al Mare is particularly known for its sandy beach, which is the only large sandy beach in the Cinque Terre. Vernazza is absolutely forbidden to car traffic in the town, and is home to the Doria Castle. Corniglia enjoys a particularly suggestive view of the terraces and vineyards that surround it, and is home to the Church of San Pietro. Manarolo is probably the oldest of the Cinque Terre villages, and is known for its local wine, known in the region as Sciacchetrá. Riomaggiore is usually the first town you come across when arriving in Cinque Terre, as it is the southernmost of the towns.

Weather in Cinque Terre is reasonable year-round, but is best from early April to late October where sunny days and balmy nights are the norm. In recent years, Cinque Terre has gone from being an unknown sanctuary to being a rather lively tourist town. This is at its worst from the end of June to the beginning of September. For a quieter experience, it’s worth visiting before June or late September to October.

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